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5 Expert Ways to Make Your Foundation Look Fresh This Winter

Photographed by Kat Irlin

When temperatures plummet and winter strikes, it can be a difficult time for those of us whose skin goals are luminosity and glow. Dry skin and ghostly pallor replace a once rosy and/or bronzed complexion and it is at that point many of us rethink our make-up routines. As well as tackling skincare – for example, switching out lightweight lotions for more sumptuous, nourishing creams – it is key to address one’s foundation situation. Here, two make-up artists share their tips on creating a beautiful base for the winter months – because great skin really doesn’t have to go into hibernation.

Address your skin’s needs

By now, you’ll be well aware that your skin changes in winter – the skin barrier becomes compromised due to the cold and central heating, so it’s key to assess how skin is looking and feeling before applying your base. “I’d advise looking into a mirror and taking the time to understand what it is your skin needs,” suggests make-up artist Thom Walker. “It’s probably hydration and some exfoliation.” Instead of granular (or physical) scrubs, look to exfoliating tonics, which gently lift and remove the dead skin cells that foundation loves to cling to.

Stick to your foundation, switch your primer

You don’t need to purchase a whole new foundation wardrobe when the cooler months hit: “It’s wasteful,” says Walker, “It’s more about how you use a chosen formula seasonally.” Despite having myriad foundations at her fingertips year-round, make-up artist Lynsey Alexander says that she sticks to her go-to Armani’s Luminous Silk and Clinique’s Even Better Makeup in winter as well as summer, relying instead on primer to change their effect.

“While in summer I’m obsessed with MAC’s Mattifine to control shine over the T-zone and keep foundation in place, in winter I switch to something luminescent, such as Chanel’s Le Blanc Le Base. It’s great because it has an SPF 40, which helps protect the skin from UV rays. Another brilliant formula is MAC’s Strobe Cream, which does as it says and lights up the skin from within.”

Make use of color correctors

“The difference between your skin in summer and in winter is that it has a nice warm glow in the warmer months and you look healthier than you do in winter,” says Walker. “If you’re somebody who has high coloring or you’re prone to wind burn or sun damage, you could introduce color correcting products, like Dr Jart+’s Cicaplast, which is also super hydrating.”

How to apply for a second-skin finish

The modern way to wear foundation (and all base products) is to look like you’re wearing nothing at all – think your skin, just that little bit better – so creating a second-skin finish is key. As well as using formulas which are medium-coverage and lightweight (Dior’s Backstage Face & Body Foundation, for example), or mixing formulas to achieve a desired effect, application is key. “I love using a stippling brush. Zoeva’s 110 Face Shape Brush is essentially a sponge, fingertip and brush all in one and it helps prevent foundation from clinging to dry areas – it buffs it away,” says Walker. “You can finish with a translucent, light and loose pressed powder, like By Terry’s Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder, which is like a silk veil over the face.”

Alexander attests she is “stingy” about applying powder to make sure it doesn’t “annihilate the light in the skin”, and applies it only in the places that require it most, such as under eyes, around nose and on forehead. “I’d rather control amount of oil on the face using skincare,” she says.

Add warmth with creamy textures

To bring life and radiance to the skin after you’ve applied your foundation, get acquainted with creamy blushers and bronzers. “You need something emollient to melt into the skin rather than a powder, which I often find can be dating. If you’re dehydrated, a powder simply floats on your face, rather than being a part of it,” says Alexander. “Meanwhile a cream blush will give you a gorgeous, radiant and dewy effect.” Name-checking Hourglass’s Vanish Blush Stick and Westman Atelier’s Baby Cheeks Blush Sticks as favorites, Alexander says that these kinds of formulas can be melted into skin using fingers. You can also cheat your way to a warm complexion with a cream bronzer, such as Chanel’s cult Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream.

Read Next: 7 Best Body Lotions for Pampering Stressed Skin

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